A new test debuted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will ask naturalization applicants to answer twice as many questions and will require twice as many correct answers.
The passing score remains the same, 60 percent.
Another new question, appearing at the top of the study guide, asks, “What is the form of government of the United States?” The list of the correct answers doesn’t include “democracy,” a common misconception about the form of the U.S. government. The correct answers are listed as “Republic,” “Constitution-based federal republic,” and “Representative democracy.”
Immigrants applying for citizenship will for a time be given either the 2008 or the 2020 version of the test, depending on when they applied for naturalization. Those who apply after Dec. 1 will take the new test. Passing the test is a statutory requirement for granting citizenship.
Those who fail the test will have a chance to retake the version they failed in 60 to 90 days.
“Naturalization allows immigrants to become fully vested members of American society, with the same rights and responsibilities as citizens by birth, and offering a fair test, which prepares naturalization applicants for these responsibilities, is of utmost importance to our agency.”